Bobette Grant ’73 made quite the impression as a Texas A&M University student for two reasons: She was a woman in a university student body mostly comprised of men—and she drove a striking and rare 1964 Austin Healey 3000 around campus.
She still drives her prized car today, but the Fort Worth native and her husband, John, are making an impression for a different reason now, thanks to their continued philanthropic support for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
A Change in Plans
Growing up, Bobette split her time between urban and rural settings. Her father owned an electrical contracting company in Fort Worth that prospered when area homeowners transitioned from traditional evaporative coolers to the more powerful refrigerated window units. To relax, the family spent weekends on their Bosque County farm, where Bobette grew up riding horses.
With her sights set on attending Southern Methodist University (SMU), Bobette was surprised to have her application rejected. “My class had only 32 students, and there were four guys who made perfect scores on their SATs,” she said. “I was 16th or 17th in my class, and SMU’s criteria said you had to be in the top half of your class. Any of our students would have been in the top 5-10% at any other school.”
SMU’s loss proved to be Texas A&M’s gain. Bobette’s stellar SAT scores and interest in studying veterinary medicine earned her admission at a time when few women were admitted. “There were only about 200 women on campus at that time,” she remembered. “The only way that women could attend Texas A&M was if they were majoring in a subject that wasn’t offered at another state-supported university. If the major was offered someplace else, you had to go there.”